David L. Hudson Jr. writes:
A Tennessee congressman has introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives known as “the Citizen Participation Act of 2009” that would provide protection for people who are sued for exercising their First Amendment rights of petition and speech. If passed, the measure by Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., would become the first federal anti-SLAPP law on the books.
SLAPP is an acronym for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. A SLAPP suit seeks to silence an individual or a business simply because that person or entity has spoken out or exercised First Amendment rights. The filer of a SLAPP suit hopes to stop criticism — even if it is true or concerns an important public issue.
Read more on the First Amendment Center.
Related: H.R. 4364